Thursday, November 14, 2013

Raven Raye

Write it Like a Song

By Raven Raye


Listening to music has helped my writing. And not just by carrying me away to that part of my mind where I can get lost in the forest of tall thoughts. When you listen to a song, you’re being dragged through the story of one night, a few days or someone’s whole life. Here are some examples: Hotel California by The Eagles (one of my favorites), Ocean Gypsy by Blackmore’s Night, (and some older ones) Send in the Clowns by Judy Collins, Honey by Bobby Goldsboro, and let’s not forget all the songs by Gordon Lightfoot. All of these have a common thread; economic wording. With an average of three verses and a couple of choruses, taking all of three to four minutes, the singer can wrap us into the life of their subject. They evoke images and deep emotion when we listen to them. We sing along. They can even make us cry (Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle). Would that I could pull that kind of response from all my readers! What I’ve (tried) to learn from them is to make every word count. Delete extraneous and filler words. When you line-edit, rearrange your sentences for maximum impact.

It helps me to read what I’ve written out loud. Now that I’m single again, I read to my cats (pathetic, I know), but they don’t seem to mind. What kind of tricks do you use to make sure you don’t have extra words or maybe left something out? Yeah, they have programs for this, but then I have to slip and slide on the learning curve. Think I’ll save that one for between my next two novels. ~ Raven


Broken Prophecy

Only Killian’s bloodline was created with the planet. No other can accept the Seal and no human can carry the seed to bear the Heirs of Aeden.

Killian, King of the Fey, is in love with Marcella Rowan, human and forbidden to his kind. An errant Angel, seeking revenge, awakens creatures thought long dead or mythological. Marcella’s life in danger and against the Divine Council’s orders, Killian saves her from death—by claiming her as his soulmate. As earthly and other-earthly creatures polarize toward good or evil, Marcella and Killian must survive the forces driving them apart. Only their love can unite the worlds of magick and mundane. Only their love can force their peoples to put aside bigotry, jealousy, and fear to overcome the evil tearing the earth apart. Only the magick they make together can repopulate Earth’s garden in Aeden.
 Thank you for "winging" it on my guest blog, Raven!
Enjoy the Fey,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Kala Ambrose


Charm Gate at the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans Photo by Kala Ambrose

The Court of Two Sisters is a restaurant in the French Quarter offering the most delightful courtyard to enjoy a meal. In the courtyard, the wisteria trees have interlocked and connected creating a natural canopy over the courtyard, bringing the space alive with sunlight peeking through the leaves. This delightful display is further highlighted by the presence of a bubbling fountain. I find wisteria to be such an interesting choice for this courtyard as by definition, wisteria means to “cling”. The wisteria canopy welcomes guests, expressing that the dining experience will offer long lasting memories of the event.
The jazz brunch at Court of Two Sisters is the perfect respite from an evening spent on Bourbon Street and the strolling jazz trio lifts the heart. While experiencing brunch in this manner, one begins to muse that every meal should be this grand. The thought of a quiet meal back home, sounds absolutely appalling.  The overall effect of the restaurant creates the feeling that one has just stepped into a painting. The scene is filled with old world charm, caught in a moment of boundless spring, highlighted by the tinkle of laughter coming from guests sitting at crisp white tablecloths enjoying private moments.
Stepping into this courtyard, one walks back in time and the city outside these doors no longer exists. This is the enchantment of the courtyards designed in New Orleans, where homes were built with the courtyard in the middle so that residents could enjoy a protected and peaceful atmosphere. The name Court of Two Sisters originates from the previous owners, two Creole sisters named Emma and Bertha Camors. Their shop was here on Royal Street and they made their living providing women in New Orleans the best gowns, gloves, perfumes and other fashion accessories. The two sisters (born in 1858 and 1860) spent their entire lives together and according to the history and local lore, they died within months of each other and were buried side by side in 1944 at St. Louis Cemetery #3 in New Orleans. The ghosts of both sisters are often seen throughout the restaurant, both inside the building and strolling around the courtyard.
Some of the most entertaining stories I have heard about the Court of Two Sisters is about the courtyard, where locals told me they have seen fairies dancing about in the trees and around the beautiful fountain that is in the center of the courtyard.  They say you can see them day and night and that there are many elementals, fairies and sprites that have lived in this courtyard for hundreds of years.
I certainly agree that there is a beautiful energy here that takes you out of the mundane world and makes you feel truly transported into somewhere ethereal.  This restaurant was my mother’s favorite restaurant in the world and each time she visited she would return back home and tell me about her evening from beginning to end.
She said that every time she visited, she had a feeling that she had been there before in a past life and she would remember the man she had been with whom she believed to be her husband. Each time she would dine at the restaurant, she would dream about the Court of Two Sisters later that evening. In her dream she said that she looked very similar to how she looked this lifetime with dark brown hair, green eyes and wearing a light dove gray dress and a cameo ring on her hand.
Cameo ring Photo by Kala Ambrose
Many years later when she visited the Court of Two Sisters again, a gentlemen friend presented her with a gift that he had purchased for her in a nearby antique shop on Royal Street earlier that day.  It was an antique cameo ring and it fit her perfectly.  She was in shock, as it looked identical to the ring she had seen in her dreams and now here it was on her hand at the very restaurant where she had dreamed that she wore this ring before.
Her friend had never heard her speak about the dream to him, nor had she ever mentioned a ring of this type to anyone. Years later she showed me the ring and explained how special it was to her in this lifetime. She felt that it was her ring from another lifetime that had found its way back to her again.  She said that it had been charmed and it carried an old spell in it that the owner of the ring would always find their way back to New Orleans.
My mother asked her friend where he had bought the ring and he took her to the shop the next day. While there she asked the owner where he had purchased the ring. He told her that a man from New York had entered his shop wanting to sell the ring. He had said that it was from his mother’s estate and that she had specified in her will that the ring must be returned to New Orleans upon her death. The man from New York was unsure of what that meant exactly, so he traveled to New Orleans. He first offered the ring to a museum, which declined the offer and so he sold it to the antique store here on Royal Street.  The ring had been here at the store for a couple of years and the owner said that many people had commented on it, but none had been interested in purchasing it until my mother’s friend had dropped in the day before.
My mother later passed this ring on to me, telling me that she knew that no matter where else I traveled or lived, that Louisiana was always in my heart and the land I call home.  It is a special treasure to me and every time I pull it out, I swear I can hear a siren song from the muses of New Orleans calling me back home to Louisiana.
The ring sits here with me now as I write and she appears to be shining brighter than usual as if aware that I am telling her story now here on paper.  Curious about its origin, I recently had it appraised and was told that it dates back to the Victorian times. It is the most interesting piece, as I have seen many cameo brooches, but a ring the size of a brooch is quite distinctive.
Rings like other objects can be charmed and have spells put upon them and the energy in this ring feels as strong today as the day decades ago when my mother first showed the ring to me.  I know that if I place it on my hand, that I’ll soon be called back to New Orleans, as the energy is so strong.
Like the ring, the charm of the two sisters and their courtyard are delightful on their own. There’s true magic to be found at this location, in the courtyard with the fairies and elementals and at the entrance of the restaurant on Royal Street.
Waiting for you at the entrance of the Court of Two Sisters are ‘charm gates’, given to the two sisters by Queen Isabella of Spain in 1832. These gates were blessed with magic and are reported to be lucky. It is said that if you touch them, you will be the recipient of their charms.  Of course you know the first thing I had to do when I first saw these gates was to place both hands firmly upon them to tap into the energy as well as to tune in to what energy had been collected by the gates over the years. As a psychic with the added ability of psychometry, I can touch an object and see an experience that stayed with the object. I was very interested in seeing what stories the gates had to tell.
The iron on the gate was cool to the touch and the restaurant has attached small blue lights, which drape around the gates.  Standing there in front of the gates I gripped the iron and felt a cool breeze rush past me, giving me a slight chill. As I held on to the gate, I closed my eyes and could hear past conversations from the mists of time. At first there was the energetic download of hundreds of conversations that have been collected and then I began to see the young girls. Over the years, hundreds, maybe thousands of young women have touched these gates, with their wish being to find true love. More than any of the other hands that have touched these gates hoping for thousands of favors and wishes to be granted, it is the wishes of the young girls that have left the strongest impression upon these charmed gates.  It appears that the purpose of the gates is to help people find true love.
If you are looking for a place to get engaged, have a wedding reception or celebrate an anniversary, I believe that the Court of Two Sisters is one of the most magical and enchanted sites in which to conduct such a ceremony or celebration.
Begin by touching the charmed gate and then enter the enchanting courtyard where the elementals and the elements await your presence, ready to delight all of your senses and provide you with a romantic atmosphere to remember for a lifetime.
Charm Gate sign at the Court of Two Sisters. Photo by Kala Ambrose
If you can’t wait until your next visit to New Orleans and the Court of Two Sisters to tap into this ancient energy, simply place your hand on the charm gate photo shown here and allow the charm to pass through to you. The magic has just begun and if the enchanted ring I’m wearing while writing this story has any say, you’ll soon be on your way to visit New Orleans to visit the Court of Two Sisters and their charmed gates.
Kala’s Travel Tips:
- The courtyard is best enjoyed in spring, fall or winter. Summer is a bit too warm for some to enjoy sitting outdoors, though on early mornings, I find it delightful in summer too.
- Try drinking a Sazerac here from the bar, one of the oldest cocktails in New Orleans.
- Most of the meals are served as a buffet, and unless you’re from Louisiana, you may not recognize some of the dishes prepared. It’s ok, be adventurous, you might like something new and if you don’t, that’s ok too, there’s plenty to sample and enjoy.
- Save room for bananas foster, a must have for dessert.
- The Jazz Trio Brunch is served daily and is a wonderful way to recover from a long evening spent on Bourbon Street.
- The restaurant is located on Royal Street, which is home to many wonderful antique shops as well. While you’re there, try your luck and explore some of these shops, perhaps you’ll find a charmed ring of your own.

About Kala Ambrose: 
Award winning author, national columnist, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Radio and TV Show, Kala Ambrose's teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations.
A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala teaches and writes about ancient wisdom teachings and how their techniques can be used in modern day living. Her books, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled both cover these topics. In addition, Kala shares her love of history, travel and the spirit world in her books Spirits of New Orleans and Ghosthunting North Carolina. Her books are designed to explore the history of cities in an entertaining manner while sharing haunted stories and offering travel tips on how to best see the cities to shop, dine, stay, and visit the haunted sites.
Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Entrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History, and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce's ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, Daily Om and her school, the Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences. More about Kala at

Kala Ambrose Spirits of New Orleans Book Signing at the New Orleans Witches Ball October 26, 2013
All the best,
Note from Josephine: Kala had no idea while writing this that there is a scene in Convicted of Love that takes place at the Court of Two Sisters!  Coincidence or not?  You decide ...